Varicella-ZosterVirus infection of neurons derived from neural stem cells

Kennedy, P. G.E. and Mogensen, T. H. (2021) Varicella-ZosterVirus infection of neurons derived from neural stem cells. Viruses, 13(3), 485. (doi: 10.3390/v13030485) (PMID:33804210) (PMCID:PMC7999439)

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Varicella-Zoster virus (VZV) is a human herpesvirus that causes varicella (chickenpox) as a primary infection, and, following a variable period of ganglionic latency in neurons, it reactivates to cause herpes zoster (shingles). An analysis of VZV infection in cultures of neural cells, in particular when these have been obtained from induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) or neural stem cells consisting of highly purified neuronal cultures, has revealed much data that may be of neurobiological significance. Early studies of VZV infection of mature cultured neural cells were mainly descriptive, but more recent studies in homogeneous neural stem cell cultures have used both neuronal cell markers and advanced molecular technology. Two general findings from such studies have been that (a) VZV infection of neurons is less severe, based on several criteria, than that observed in human fibroblasts, and (b) VZV infection of neurons does not lead to apoptosis in these cells in contrast to apoptosis observed in fibroblastic cells. Insights gained from such studies in human neural stem cells suggest that a less severe initial lytic infection in neurons, which are resistant to apoptosis, is likely to facilitate a pathological pathway to a latent state of the virus in human ganglia.

Item Type:Articles
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Kennedy, Professor Peter
Authors: Kennedy, P. G.E., and Mogensen, T. H.
College/School:College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > Institute of Infection Immunity and Inflammation
Journal Name:Viruses
ISSN (Online):1999-4915
Published Online:15 March 2021
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2021 by the authors
First Published:First published in Viruses 13(3):485
Publisher Policy:Reproduced under a Creative Commons license

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